HELLO, EVERYONE. MY NAME IS ZHANE McCLYDE, AND I AM A MEMBER OF THE CLASS OF 2019. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] TONIGHT I AM VERY HAPPY TO INTRODUCE TO YOU OUR TWO MASTERS OF CEREMONY, KEVIN THOMAS AND ENUICE MAKINDE. [APPLAUSE] KEVIN IS WORKING TOWARD A PH.D. IN URBAN STUDIES AT PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY. ONE OF HIS FOCUS AREAS IS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, WHERE HE WORKS TO DESIGN SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOODS. HE ALSO RECEIVED A BACHELOR OF ARTS IN WOMEN, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY STUDIES AND INDIGENOUS NATIONS STUDIES FROM PSU, AND IS VERY ACTIVE WITH CULTURAL EVENTS AS WELL AS DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION ISSUES ON CAMPUS. ORIGINALLY FROM PHILADELPHIA, KEVIN HAS LIVED IN PORTLAND SINCE 2000. HE ACTIVELY SERVES HIS COMMUNITY AS A MEMBER OF THE JADE DISTRICT STEERING COMMITTEE. HE IS ALSO THE FATHER OF TWO TEENAGERS. DURING HIS FREE TIME, KEVIN LIKES TO ATTEND ANYTHING TO DO WITH STAR TREK” AND GO TO ESTATE SALES IN SEARCH OF GAME BOARDS WHICH HE REPURPOSES INTO JOURNALS AND SKETCH BOOKS. ENUICE MAKINDE IS A WRITER, EDUCATOR, PODCAST HOST AND CURRENT PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY DIVERSITY RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION SPECIALIST WITHIN THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS. SHE IS A THOUGHT LEADER ON RACE AND INCLUSION IN THE FAITH-BASED ARENA. BEFORE HER ROLE AT PSU, SHE SPENT SEVERAL YEARS IN STUDENT AFFAIRS, BUILDING AND ESTABLISHING A MENTORING PROGRAM THAT INCREASED THE RETENTION RATES OF UNDER REPRESENTED FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS ATTENDING CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY PORTLAND, WHERE SHE RECEIVED HER UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN SECONDARY EDUCATION AND MASTER’S DEGREE IN COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY. EUNICE HAS OVER SEVEN YEARS OF COMBINED EXPERIENCE IN DIVERSITY-RELATEED WORK. EUNICE DEVOTES MUCH OF HER LIFE TO HELPING CHURCHES, CHURCH LEADERS, STUDENTS, HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS, AND COMMUNITIES AT LARGE BETTER SERVE AND SUPPORT DIVERSE COMMUNITIES IN HOPES OF BUILDING HEALTHY, EQUITABLE, AND MORE THRIVING COMMUNITIES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. KEVIN THOMAS AND ENUICE MAKINDE ARE PHENOMENAL LEADERS BOTH ON AND OFF CAMPUS, AND IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WELCOME THEM TONIGHT AS OUR EMCEES. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING KEVIN THOMAS AND ENUICE MAKINDE. MOSS APPLAUSE.>>THANK YOU, ZHANE FOR THE GREAT INTRODUCTION. I’M GOING TO EXPLAIN SOMETHING, WE HAD A SOUND TEST THIS AFTERNOON, WITH A DIFFERENT MIC. SO THIS IS GOING TO BE A LITTLE DIFFERENT. WE HAD A SOUND TEST WITH A DIFFERENT MIC. IT’S A GREAT HONOR TO BE ASKED TO PARTICIPATE IN TONIGHT’S EVENT. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL CEREMONY. THANK YOU, EVERYONE, WHO CONSIDERED ME FOR THIS POSITION. LUCKILY THEY ALSO GAVE ME A SCRIPT. SO I DON’T HAVE TO MEMORIZE ALL THIS. BECAUSE IT IS SUCH AN IMPORTANT CELEBRATION. I DON’T WANT TO MISS ANYTHING. GRAD WAYS IS A TIME TO CELEBRATE THE ENORMOUS ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OUR DEDICATED AND TALENTED STUDENTS. AND JUST TO SAY THIS AGAIN, YOU GRADUATED. RIGHT? THAT’S WHY WE’RE HERE. [APPLAUSE] TONIGHT WE HONOR OUR GRADUATES AS THEY INTEGRATE ALL THEY HAVE GAINED FROM PSU INTO THE NEXT CHAPTERS OF THEIR LIVES. THANK YOU FAMILY, FRIENDS, FACULTY, AND STAFF FOR JOINING US IN THIS VERY SPECIAL OCCASION. I AM WEARING THE STOLE THAT I WAS AWARDED WHEN I GRADUATED MANY YEARS AGO IN YOUR HONOR. BEFORE WE BEGIN TONIGHT, WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PEOPLE WHOSE LAND WE’RE STANDING ON. IF YOU’D LIKE TO FOLLOW ALONG THE LAND ACKNOWLEDGMENT IS ON YOUR PROGRAM. WE HONOR THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE WHOSE TRADITIONAL AND ANCESTRAL HOMELANDS WE STAND ON. THE MULTNOMAH, KATHLAMET, CLACKAMAS, TUMWATER, WATLALA BANDS OF THE CHINOOK, THE TUALATIN KALAPUYA, AND MANY OTHER INDIGENOUS NATIONS OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER. IT IS IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE ANCESTORS OF THIS PLACE AND RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE HERE BECAUSE OF THE SACRIFICES FORCED UPON THEM. IN REMEMBERING THESE COMMUNITIES, WE HONOR THEIR LEGACIES, THEIR LIVES, AND THEIR DESCENDANTS. THIS YEAR WE ARE CELEBRATING THE 20th MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION. [APPLAUSE] 20 YEARS. THIS IS A AN EVENT. OF OUR STUDENTS LOOK TO. WE’RE SO EXCITED TO BE HERE THIS EVENING TO CELEBRATE OUR GRADUATES. BEFORE WE PROCEED, WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE A COUPLE MILESTONES THIS YEAR. AT THE CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTERS, A GROUP OF STUDENTS AND STAFF AND STAFF COLLECTIVELY WORKED TO INCREASE RESOURCES FOR THE MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA/SOUTH ASIA MENASA COMMUNITY AT PSU, WITH THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF CREATING A SIXTH CULTURAL CENTER. WITH THE EFFORTS OF OUTSTANDING STUDENT LEADERS, THE MENASA INITIATIVE WAS SUCCESSFUL IN ADVOCATING FOR FUNDS FOR A FULL-TIME MENASA STAFF MEMBER AND PROGRAMMING RESOURCES. THAT MEANS THERE’S GOING TO BE A NEW CULTURAL CENTER OPENING UP HERE. [APPLAUSE] THIS YEAR IS ALSO THE FIRST YEAR PSU STUDENTS CAN GRADUATE WITH A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN INDIGENOUS NATIONS AND NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES AT PSU. [APPLAUSE] WE WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE PROFESSOR CORNEL PEWEWARDY AND THE FACULTY AND STAFF OF THE NATIVE STUDIES DEPARTMENT FOR THEIR YEARS OF TIRELESS WORK TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, KEVIN. HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING? ARE YOU EXCITED? AWESOME. WE GOT A LOT OF STUFF TO READ TO YOU, SO DON’T GET TOO EXCITED YET. SO TONIGHT I’M HAPPY TO INTRODUCE TO YOU OUR ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT OF STUDENT SUCCESS — ACCESS AND SUCCESS, DR. CECE RIDDER. SHE’S IN THE FRONT ROW. GIVE A ROUND OF APPLAUSE. [APPLAUSE] SHE’S GOING TO BE GIVING OUR WELCOMING REMARKS TODAY. DR. RIDDER OVERSEES A PLETHORA OF STUDENT SERVICES IN DIVERSITY AND MULTICULTURAL STUDENT SERVICES. MULTICULTURAL RETENTION SERVICES, TRiO, UPWARD BOUND, EDUCATIONAL TALENT SEARCH AND STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES, THE CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTERS, THE DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER, STUDENT LEGAL SERVICES, AND THE VETERANS RESOURCE CENTER. SHE HAS A BS FROM NEBRASKA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY IN PR, AN MS IN COLLEGE STUDENT PERSONNEL FROM KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY, AND A PH.D. FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN. SHE IS THE MOTHER OF TWINS AND CONSIDERS TEXAS, PORTLAND, AND NEBRASKA HOME. HER DISSERTATION WAS ON THE STUDY OF MULTIRACIAL COLLEGE STUDENTS, RACIAL IDENTITY, AND STUDENT ORGANIZATION CHOICE. SO THE MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION PLANNING COMMITTEE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO RECOGNIZE DR. RIDDER’S STRONG SUPPORT AND PARTICIPATION IN MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS. THIS IS DR. RIDDER’S LAST DAY WORKING AT PSU, AND — I KNOW. AND SHE WILL BE MISSED BY STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FACULTY FOR THE AMAZING WORK SHE’S DONE OVER THE YEARS. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING DR. CECE RIDDER. [APPLAUSE]>>PUT THE MIC WAY DOWN. ARE YOU ALL DOING ALL RIGHT? OKAY. I’LL MAKE IT SHORT. LIKE ME. SWEET. GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO THE 20th ANNUAL MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION CEREMONY. TONIGHT, AS WE CELEBRATE 20 YEARS OF ACKNOWLEDGING AND — HELLO. PAUSE. 20 YEARS OF ACKNOWLEDGING AND HONORING THE ENORMOUS ACHIEVEMENTS OF OUR GRADUATES, WE ALSO CELEBRATE THE MULTITUDE OF DREAMS THAT BROUGHT YOU ALL HERE TODAY. OUR GRADUATION THEME THIS YEAR, WHICH YOU WILL HEAR ECHOED THROUGHOUT THE CEREMONY, IS “DARE TO DREAM.” DESPITE ALL OF OUR ADVERSITIES, WE HAVE DARED TO DREAM. THESE DREAMS WERE BIRTHED FROM THE STRENGTH AND RESILIENCE OF OUR ANCESTORS, OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR FAMILIES. THESE DREAMS HAVE BEEN BIRTHED FROM THE STRENGTH OF US. THAT’S US, Y’ALL. US. EVERY DREAM WITHIN US FINDS THEIR ROOTS IN THE MIND, THE HEART, THE SOUL, AND THE SPIRIT. TO DREAM TAKES COURAGE, TO DREAM IS BRAVE. WITH LOVE AND WITH HOPE WE ACTUALIZE OUR DREAMS TO — WHO WROTE THIS? THIS IS REALLY GOOD! [APPLAUSE] RECENTER. OKAY. IT MAKES ME CRY! WITH LOVE AND WITH HOPE WE ACTUALIZE OUR DREAMS TO CREATE A FUTURE WHERE WE CAN ALL DARE TO DREAM. AGAIN, CONGRATULATIONS FROM ME AND FROM ALL THE DIVERSITY AND MULTICULTURAL STUDENT SERVICES. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, DR. RIDDER. YOU WILL BE MISSED. WE MEAN IT. DREAMS TRULY ARE THE FUEL THAT IGNITES THE FIRE WITHIN US ALL. FOR MANY OF US, THE FIRE IS FOUND IN THE WORK WE DO IN THE COMMUNITY. AND ANYONE CAN SEE THIS IN THE WORK OF JILL TOWNLEY. JILL IS THE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIFE AT PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY. SHE GRADUATED FROM PSU WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION, FOCUSING ON INTERCULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT, AND HAS WORKED DIRECTLY WITH STUDENTS IN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND SCHOLAR SERVICES FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS. SHE THOROUGHLY ENJOYS HER JOB OF WORKING WITH THE STUDENT LIFE TEAM TO SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS THROUGH THE OFTEN CHALLENGING PROCESS OF ADJUSTING TO A NEW CULTURE AND EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM AS WELL AS LEADING WORKSHOPS ON SPIRITUAL AND PERM LEADERSHIP AND INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION. THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIFE TEAM DEEPLY APPRECIATES THE COLLABORATIVE WORK OF THE CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTERS TO WELCOME AND ADVOCATE FOR SPACES WHERE STUDENTS AND STAFF FROM DIVERSE BACKGROUNDS CAN CONNECT, SHARE STORIES, AND BUILD COMMUNITY. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING JILL TOWNLEY. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, KEVIN. EACH YEAR, THE MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION GRADUATION COMMITTEE SELECTS STUDENT SPEAKERS TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AT PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY. THIS YEAR, ANIS ZAMAN WAS SELECTED TO REPRESENT OUR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS. ANIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FROM BANGLADESH, MAJORING IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION. HE CAME TO PORTLAND IN FALL OF 2017 BECAUSE HE WANTED TO HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE IN PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES. SINCE HIS SECOND YEAR, ANIS WAS INVOLVED IN OUR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MENTOR PROGRAM AS A MENTOR, A STUDENT LEADER FOR SERVICE, AS WELL AS THE INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL SERVICE PROGRAM. IN HIS FIRST YEAR OF STUDY, ANIS HAS FOUNDED A NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATION, THE BANGLADESH STUDENT ASSOCIATION, HE WORKED IN — AND ALSO SHARING BANGLADESHI CULTURE WITH PSU COMMUNITY. HE’S A MEMBER OF THE MULTICULTURAL STUDENT CENTER ADVISORY COMMITTEE, AND HAS WORKED WITH UNIVERSITY STUDIES AS A TEACHING ASSISTANT AND FACILITIES AND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT AS A STUDENT WORKER. THROUGHOUT HIS STUDIES AT PORTLAND STATE, ANIS HAS ALSO
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COMMITTED TO COMMUNITY SERVICE. HE HAS WORKED WITH THE MAYBELLE CENTER FOR SERVING ISOLATED GROUPS IN THE POPULATION. ANIS ALSO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATES IN MANY PEACE PROGRAMS. HE’S THE INTERN OF THE ROTARY ACTION GROUP FOR PEACE, THE FIELDS OF PEACE ORGANIZATIONS IN PORTLAND, AND ANIS IS A GREAT ADMIRER OF PORTLAND STATE FOR ITS COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY SERVICE AND THE OPPORTUNITIES IT PROVIDES FOR STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC SUCCESS. ANIS HAS ALSO GRADUATING INTO A NEW FIELD OF FATHERHOOD FOR THIS WEEK, IN FACT JUST A FEW DAYS AGO, HE HAS A NEW BABY. [APPLAUSE] SO WE’RE ALL SO BLESSED AND PLEASED TO HAVE ANIS SPEAK WITH US TODAY AND SHARE SOME OF HIS INSIGHTS TO BEING A GRADUATE HERE AT PORTLAND STATE. WELCOME, ANIS ZAMAN. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD EVENING. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THE STORY OF MY NEW ASSIGNMENT, NEW FATHERHOOD. AND IT’S VERY NEW. I STILL HAVE THE TAG FROM THE HOSPITAL. [LAUGHTER] I LIKE TO EXTEND MY THANK YOU TO MULTICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER FOR PROVOST ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK BEFORE SUCH AN AMAZING CROWD, AND WOW, IT’S SUCH A BIG CROWD. I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE THIS SIZE. OKAY. [LAUGHTER] I MIGHT BE A BIT NERVOUS. PARDON ME. I’M PROUD TO BE THE PART OF THE PSU STUDENT COMMUNITY. BECAUSE SINCE I CAME HERE, I LEARNED A LOT. I CAME TO PSU IN 2017 WITH A MIND TO ACHIEVE A MASTER’S DEGREE IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION. BUT STANDING HERE TODAY, I AM NOT THE SAME PERSON. LIKE THE WAY I BECAME FATHER, I ALSO GROW FURTHER FROM WHAT I HAD WHEN I CAME HERE AT PSU. I THINK I HAVE GROWN MUCH BIGGER, MY MIND IS FULL OF COURAGE, COURAGE TO DREAM BIGGER, DESPERATE TO THINK GLOBALLY. BECAUSE I CAME FROM A SMALL COUNTRY LIKE BANGLADESH, BUT I THINK PSU MAY BE THE CAPITAL OF ENTERING IN THIS COMMUNITY. WITHOUT A DOUBT, IT’S MOLDED ME STRONGER. RATHER THAN EARNING A MERE DEGREE, I CAN DREAM TO WALK IN THE GLOBAL PLATFORM OF PROFESSIONALISM AND KNOWLEDGE. THE EXPERIENCE OF AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT IS NOT VERY COMFORTABLE ALWAYS. I THINK MANY OF THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WOULD AGREE WITH ME. IS NOT ONLY ABOUT ACQUIRING THE KNOWLEDGE, BUT ALSO THE ACQUISITION OF MANY EXPERIENCES. THE JOURNEY IS MORE CHALLENGING AND COMPLEX FOR THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AS THEY NEED TO ADJUST TO MANY CHALLENGES. LIKE THE NEW CULTURE, NEW ACADEMIC SETTING, NEW CLASSROOM, AND THE NEW COMMUNITY TO LIVE IN. IT’S NOT BEEN EASY FOR ANY INTERNATIONAL STUDENT. AND IT WAS NOT EASY FOR ME. EVEN WHEN I WANTED TO INVOLVE MYSELF WITH THE COMMUNITY SERVICE IN ORDER TO LEARN MORE FROM THE PORTLAND COMMUNITY, I WAS NOT VERY SURE HOW TO DO THAT. MY FACULTY MEMBERS, INTERNATIONAL STUDENT OFFICE, THEY HELPED ME TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE PSU COMMUNITY. I REALLY TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY OF VOLUNTEERING WITH THE PORTLAND COMMUNITY IN MANY ASPECTS, AND THAT REALLY HELPED ME TO LAND A REAL LIFE LEARNING. I TOOK THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRACTICE WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY ACADEMIC CLASSES, AND TO PRACTICE ON GROUND, AND THEN I REALIZED THAT HOW COMPLEX IT IS TO IMPLEMENT THE KNOWLEDGE FROM THE BOOK TO THE GROUND. LET ME TELL YOU HOW PSU HELPED ME TO GROW IN ALL AREAS. WHEN I CAME HERE AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT, EVERYTHING WAS NEW TO ME. THE CLASS CULTURE, CAMPUS LIFE, ACADEMIC SET-UP, COMMUNITY, EVEN MY MOST FAVORITE THING, THE FOOD, IT WAS NEW TO ME. THE RECOGNITION OF BEING PART OF THE COMMUNITY WAS VERY MUCH REQUIRING I FELT THAT AT THE SHOULD RECOGNIZE, BECAUSE THE RECOGNITION OF MY CAPABILITIES, THE RECK — PSU COMMUNITY WAS VERY SPONTANEOUS IN RECOGNIZING ME IN ALL REGARDS. THANK YOU, PSU, FOR THAT. THAT WAS THE STARTING POINT FROM WHERE I STARTED GETTING INVOLVED WITH MANY CAMPUS RESOURCES AND INITIATIVES. I AM VERY MUCH THANKFUL TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIFE TEAM, ESPECIALLY TO RACHEL DIETZ, SHE IS NOT HERE TODAY, I KNOW. SHE INSPIRES ME AND HELPS ME TO BELIEVE IN MY OWN POTENTIALITIES. DESPITE SO MANY CHALLENGES OF ADOPTING MYSELF WITH UNFAMILIAR ENVIRONMENT, I NEVER GAVE UP MY OWN DREAM. I WANTED TO — DESPITE MANY OF MY SHORT COMINGS, I STARTED DREAMING TO ACHIEVE A FEW THINGS, WHICH IN TURN HELPED ME TO GAIN MANY SKILLS THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO SUCCEED. NOW AT THIS POINT I HAVE WORKED AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MENTOR, A STUDENT LEADER FOR SERVICE, A MEMBER OF INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL SERVICE PROGRAM, UNIVERSITIES STUDIES TEACHING ASSISTANT, AND MEMBER OF MULTICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER. ALL OF THEM REALLY HELPED ME TO GAIN MY EXPERIENCES, WHICH I NEED TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY. AS A STUDENT FROM BANGLADESH, I WAS ALWAYS DREAMING TO LEAVE MY CULTURAL FOOTPRINT IN PSU. SO I STARTED DREAMING TO ESTABLISH A STUDENT ORGANIZATION, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO STUDENT ORGANIZATION FOR BANGLADESH. BUT PEOPLE REALLY HELPED ME, LIKE JIM, STACIE, THEY HELPED ME TO DREAM FARTHER AND I STARTED MY NEW STUDENT ORGANIZATION, THE PUBLISH STUDENT ASSOCIATION. NOW IT’S IN ITS SECOND YEAR. [APPLAUSE] PSU PROVIDED ME A UNIQUE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, WHERE I COULD SUCCESSFULLY INTERACT WITH STUDENTS FROM DIVERSE SOCIOECONOMIC AND CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS. I HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM PSU STUDENT COMMUNITY. CAMPUS RESOURCES LIKE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS OFFICE, STUDENT ACTIVITIES AND LEADERSHIP PROGRAM, STUDENT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CENTER, MULTICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTER ALL OF THEM CREATED A FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT HERE AT PSU TO ACCOMMODATE MULTICULTURALISM AND DIVERSITY THAT I THINK IS MOST USE USEFUL FOR STUDENTS TO EXPAND THEIR WORLD VIEW. I AM THANKFUL TO PORTLAND COMMUNITY. WITHOUT THEIR SUPPORT, MY LEARNING WOULD NEVER BE COMPLETE. INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL SERVICE PROGRAM AND STUDENT COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CENTER PROVIDED ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE WITH THE PORTLAND COMMUNITY AND I WAS HAPPY TO SHARE MY CULTURE WITH PORED COMMUNITY, STARTING FROM THE KIT — KINDERGARTENERS. I HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM PORTLAND COMMUNITY, THE HUMAN RIGHTS, SOCIAL JUSTICE, EQUITY, GENDER EQUALITY, AND COMMITMENT FOR WORK. I AM TAKING WITH ME THESE VALUABLE EXPERIENCES FOR MY COMMUNITIES BACK IN BANGLADESH. I MANY ALSO THANKFUL TO MY DEPARTMENT OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, WHO REALLY SHAPED ME AS A CAPABLE CONFLICT RESOLVER. NOW I CAN DREAM TO STEP IN THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY OF PEACE PRACTITIONER. MY DEPARTMENT HAS HELPED ME IN EVERY STEP TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS. MY SINCERE THANKS TO ALL OF THEM, ESPECIALLY PROGRAM COORDINATOR AISLYN MATIAS AND MY ADVISOR, DR. HARRY ANASTASIOU, WHO ENCOURAGED ME TO LEARN MAXIMUM FROM MY MASTER’S PROGRAM AND SUPPORTED ME IN ALL THE WAY TO MY ACADEMIC SUCCESS. AT THIS EVENING I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION ONE THING. WHEN I CAME HERE AT PSU I WAS HE’S AT THAT POINT TO GET INVOLVED WITH SO MANY CAMPUS ACTIVITIES. I WAS ANXIOUS WHAT WOULD — TO DO JUSTICE TO MY ACADEMIC LEARNING OR NOT. BUT WHAT I FOUND IS REALLY AMAZING. GETTING INVOLVED WITH CAM TUESDAY EVENTS — CAMPUS EVENTS AND VOLUNTEERING, YOU REALLY LEARN VALUABLE KNOWLEDGE. YOU REALLY LEARN THE SKILLS WHICH YOU REALLY NEED TO — UNLESS YOU WORK FOR THE PEOPLE, YOU ARE ONLY — YOUR ONLY CLASSROOM KNOWLEDGE WILL NOT BE HELPFUL WHEN YOU GO TO THE GROUND TO WORK WITH THE PEOPLE. SO THAT IS MY LINE, AND I WOULD — MY LEARNING AND, WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THIS THING. I ENCOURAGE THE FUTURE PSU STUDENTS OR THE NEW PSU STUDENTS TO GET INVOLVED WITH THE PSU CAMPUS EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. THANK YOU SO MUCH. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TO LISTEN TO ME. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU T. ANIS. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE WHAT YOU SAID, I THINK ONE OF THE BEST PARTS WE CAN AGREE HERE IS THAT WORKING WITH THE STUDENTS EVERY SINGLE DAY AND JUST — I DON’T KNOW, THE RIGOR AND ABILITY TO CREATE NEW POSSIBILITIES AND PROGRAMS HERE IS PHENOMENAL. SO THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. NEXT I WOULD LOVE TO INTRODUCE PEDRO S. TORRES. HE’S BEEN AT PORTLAND AND PSU FOR FIVE YEARS. ORIGINALLY FROM TEXAS, HE ATTENDED COLLEGE IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, WHERE HE RECEIVED A BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN SCIENCE AND A MASTER’S DEGREE IN LINGUISTICS. HE CURRENTLY IS A COORDINATOR OF LA CASA LATINA STUDENT CENTER AND GETS TO WORK WITH THE ABSOLUTE BEST STUDENTS ON CAMPUS. IF YOU COULD PLEASE GO AHEAD AND WELCOME HIM. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, EUNICE. I APPRECIATE IT. OUR SECOND STUDENT SPEAKER OF THE EVENING, REPRESENTING OUR DOMESTIC GRADUATES, IS NANCY YANG. [APPLAUSE] NANCY YANG IS A HMONG-AMERICAN, FIRST GENERATION STUDENT IN THE UNIVERSITY HONORS COLLEGE MAJORING IN MATHEMATICS. MUCH OF HER STUDENT LEADERSHIP INVOLVES THE ASIAN, ASU-AMERICAN, AND PACIFIC-ISLANDER COMMUNITIES. SINCE HER SOPHOMORE YEAR, SHE WORKED ON PROGRAMMING FOR PIAA, THE PACIFIC ISLANDER, ASIAN, AND ASIAN-AMERICAN STUDENT CENTER. SHE’S ALSO BEEN PART OF THE EMPOWER PROGRAM, A RETENTION PROGRAM FOR FIRST GENERATION, LOW-INCOME, ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER IDENTIFYING STUDENTS. FOR FOUR YEARS. IN THE FUTURE SHE HOPES TO USE HER EXPERIENCES IN MATH AND STATISTICAL KNOW-HOW TO CREATE A BETTER FUTURE. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING THIS YEAR’S DOMESTIC STUDENT SPEAKER, NANCY YANG. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>SO THANK YOU. THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MANY YEARS I’VE BEEN DREAMING OF BEING UP HERE GRADUATING AND SPEAKING TO YOU ALL. I THINK — MY THEME IS DARE TO DREAM. WHAT IS A DREAM? A DREAM IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO WANT. YOU DON’T SAY, OH, I DREAM OF BAD THINGS HAPPENING TO ME. GENERALLY YOUR DREAMS ARE THINGS THAT ARE GOOD FOR YOU. LIKE MY DREAM IS TO HAVE A GOOD NIGHT’S REST. FINALLY. [LAUGHTER] DREAMS ARE ALSO THINGS THAT REQUIRE WORK. SOMETIMES, A LOT OF TIMES IT’S A JOURNEY. BUT AFTER THAT JOURNEY, IT WILL FEEL WORTH IT TO SOME END. DREAMS ARE SPRUNG FROM OUR EXPERIENCES. BEING AFFECTED BY EACH INTERACTION THAT WE HAVE. IN A WAY, WE CAN ALSO SAY THAT DREAMS ARE INTERGENERATIONAL, BECAUSE OUR EXPERIENCES ARE AFFECTED BY THOSE WHO PRECEDE US, JUST AS OUR EXPERIENCES WILL AFFECT THOSE AFTER US. MY PARENTS’ DREAM FOR ME WAS TO GO TO COLLEGE, GET A DEGREE, AND HAVE A BETTER LIFE. TO ME, THIS DREAM SOUNDS FAMILIAR. WHAT ALSO MAY SOUND FAMILIAR IS A HISTORY CONTAINING WAR, THE U.S., AND IMMIGRATION. THE HISTORY OF THE HMONG PEOPLE, MY PEOPLE, WE WERE USED AS PAWNS BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT IN A SECRET WAR IN VIETNAM. THROUGH THIS INTERACTION, THE HMONG PEOPLE WERE SCATTERED. EITHER TO OTHER COUNTRIES, OR MASSACRED BY OUR ENEMIES AFTER THE AMERICANS LEFT. THE DREAM OF THESE PEOPLE WERE FOR THEIR FAMILIES TO SURVIVE AND KEEP OUR CULTURE AND HISTORY ALIVE. MY PARENTS SURVIVED. AND THEY ADDED ON TO THAT DREAM. THE DREAM OF SURVIVAL BECAME A DREAM OF EDUCATION AND WEALTH. NOW I AM ADDING ON TO THAT DREAM. IT’S A DREAM FOR A BETTER FUTURE. FOR ALL PEOPLE. I’VE BEEN FORTUNATE TO BE A PART OF THE MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITY HERE AT PSU. HERE IT CAN BE HARD TO FIND YOUR PEOPLE, BUT BECAUSE OF THE CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTERS, I’VE BEEN ABLE TO FIND MY PEOPLE. I ALSO GOT TO LEARN A BIT ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES. AS MENTIONED IN MY INTRODUCTION, A LOT OF MY WORK AT PSU IS CENTERED AROUND SERVING THE ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER COMMUNITY. DID YOU KNOW PACIFIC ISLANDERS ARE MINORITY WITHIN A MINORITY? APIs ARE KNOWN TO BE THE MODEL MINORITY BECAUSE THEY’RE SEEN AS BEING STUDIOUS AND NOT CASEIN TROUBLE. BUT THIS USUALLY ONLY APPLIES TO EAST ASIANS. WHAT ABOUT SOUTHEAST AND SOUTH ASIANS? AND SIMILARLY, WHAT ABOUT THE PACIFIC ISLANDERS? ACCORDING TO THE LABEL “API”, THEY SHOULD COVER AT LEAST HALF OF REPRESENTATION, BUT THEY DON’T, AND WE DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES. WHAT I CAN SAY IS THAT THEIR COMMUNITIES ARE DISAPPEARING. I AM FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE EDUCATION AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE, WHICH I ALSO LEARNED SHOULD BE CALLED THE CLIMATE CRISIS, BECAUSE IT IS A CRISIS. I AM ALSO FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO HEAR HOW THE CLIMATE CRISIS IS AFFECTING THE ISLANDS. ISLANDS ARE SINKING. THEIR DREAM RIGHT NOW IS SURVIVAL, AND THIS IS NOT A DREAM THAT ANYONE SHOULD HAVE. SO WE SHOULD DO WHAT WE CAN TO HELP THEIR COMMUNITY AND THEIR SURVIVAL. I WOULD SAY THAT I WAS MODERATELY INVOLVED AT PSU. THROUGH ALL OF MY EXPERIENCES, AN IMPORTANT LESSON THAT I HAVE LEARNED WAS THAT IMPROVEMENT REQUIRES CRITIQUE AND WORK. YOU HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU DID WRONG, OR COULD HAVE DONE BETTER, TO BE ABLE TO PUT IN THE WORK TO IMPROVE ON WHAT YOU DID. SOUNDS SIMPLE, RIGHT? WELL, MY EXPERIENCES WITH CRITIQUE HAS DEVELOPED DURING MY PSU EXPERIENCE. I USED TO ABSOLUTELY LOATH GETTING CRITIQUED BECAUSE I THOUGHT IF SOMEONE IS SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT ME THAT’S NOT PERFECT ALREADY, THEN THAT MEANS I’M NOT PERFECT, AND I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. BUT I LEARNED THAT OVER TIME, I CHANGED HOW I VIEW THIS FEEDBACK. INSTEAD OF THINKING, OH, THESE THINGS ARE ABOUT ME, AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH, I STARTED THINKING, THEY’RE TRYING TO HELP ME BECOME BETTER. BECAUSE I SHOULD WANT TO BE BETTER, RIGHT? I CAN’T BE RIGHT ALL THE TIME, SO I USED THESE EXPERIENCES AS OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN. I ALSO LEARNED THAT IT’S IMPORTANT HOW YOU GIVE A CRITIQUE. IT’S SHOULD BE A LITTLE SANDWICH, YOU START WITH A POSITIVE, YOU VIED IN THE CRITIQUE, AND THEN YOU FLUFF IT UP WITH ANOTHER COMPLIMENT. TWO, AN EXAMPLE OF THAT WOULD BE, NANCY, YOUR SPEECH IS SO INSPIRING. BUT YOUR SPEECH IS KIND OF DRAGGING ALONG, SO PICK IT UP A ALSO BIT. BUT YOU’RE DOING A REALLY GOOD JOB. [LAUGHTER] EVERY YEAR SINCE ITS EXISTENCE, THE PIAAA PIAAA CENTER HOST AS HALF HA — HALF-DAY CONFERENCE FOR API HERITAGE MONTH. THIS YEAR OUR THEME WAS BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE, AND WE LEARNED HOW WE HAVE AN BEEN IMPROVING THROUGHOUT YEARS AND HOW WE CAN CONTINUE TO IMPROVE. OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER, VIRGINIA LUKA, TALKED ABOUT THE GIFT OF OUR STORIES. OUR STORIES HAVE THE POWER TO TELL US MORE ABOUT OURSELVES AS INDIVIDUALS AND MEMBERS OF A COMMUNITY. OUR STORIES CAN HELP US BY SHARING OUR NEEDS AND, OUR WANTS, AND OUR DESIRES. I HOPE THAT MY STORY, MY JOURNEY, CAN HELP YOU TO THINK MAYBE WHAT YOUR NEEDS ARE, WHAT YOUR COMMUNITY’S NEEDS ARE, WHAT ARE THEIR DREAMS, AND WHAT STORY DO YOU WANT TO TELL? I ASKED MY FELLOW MENTORS IN THE EMPOWER PROGRAM TO SHARE THE TITLE OF THEIR COLLEGE EXPERIENCE STORY, WHAT IT WOULD BE. SO HERE’S A LITTLE TIDBIT OF THEIR STORY. ONE TITLE IS “THE UNDERLYING MENTAL OVERHAUL OF AN ENGINEERING STUDENT.” “HOW TO CHEAT THE SYSTEM.” “PROCRASTINCEPTION — DO IT LATER.” [LAUGHTER]
“THERE’S MORE TO COLLEGE THAN STUDY.” “I’M TIRED.” AND LASTLY, “ALL IN. ” AS YOU REACH THE END OF YOUR COLLEGE STORY, MAYBE FOR NOW S. BEFORE SOME OF YOU MOVE TO GRAD SCHOOL, GO YOU, TAKE A MOMENT TO MARVEL AT YOUR WORK. YOU’VE WORKED HARD TO GET HERE. IT WAS A LONG JOURNEY. AND IT WAS HARD. I’M SURE YOU SPENT LOTS OF LATE NIGHTS AT THE LIBRARY, MAYBE HAD A ALSO MENTAL BREAKDOWN HERE AND THERE ABOUT THAT ONE REALLY HARD CLASS. BECAUSE I’M SURE YOU’VE HAD MANY CLASSES THAT WERE LIKE THAT, JUST TO GET HERE TODAY. SO I ASK, WAS THE JOURNEY ALL WORTH IT? FOR ME IT WAS. AND I HOPE IT WAS FOR ALL OF YOU TOO. BECAUSE THEN IT MEANS YOU’VE ACHIEVED YOUR DREAM, OR AT LEAST ONE DREAM. MAYBE THE DEGREE WON’T BE AS WORTH IT AS YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN, BUT REMEMBER THE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU HAD. WHAT DID YOU DO TO BE BETTER, NOT JUST ACADEMICALLY, AND HOW DID THIS EXPERIENCE BETTER YOUR LIFE? AND HOW CAN IT BETTER THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU? THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, NANCY FOR YOUR HEARTFELT WORDS. I NEED TO SHARE A FEW WORDS ABOUT NANCY WITH YOU. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON’T KNOW, I WAS THE INTERIM COORDINATOR AT PSU, AND NANCY IS ON THE STUDENT STAFF. SO I GOT TO WATCH HER ALL YEAR PUT TOGETHER REALLY GOOD PROGRAMMING, IT WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PROGRAM. AND I WANT TOP SAY THANK YOU FOR THAT. IT WAS A GREAT PLEASURE WORKING WITH YOU AND WATCHING YOU GROW, GETTING READY TO GRADUATE THIS YEAR. NEXT I AM HAPPY TO INTRODUCE TO YOU TONIGHT’S KEYNOTE SPEAKER, CYNTHIA CARMINA GOMEZ. [APPLAUSE]
CYNTHIA WAS BORN IN A SMALL MIGRANT COMMUNITY AND RAISED ON THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER. TODAY SHE IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTERS, AFFILIATE FACULTY, AND A GRADUATE STUDENT IN THE MASTER OF FINE ARTS NONFICTION CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM. AT PSU. CYNTHIA WORKED FOR OVER 10 YEARS IN PORTLAND’S LATINO NONPROFIT SECTOR, AND IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE OREGON GOVERNORS’ GOLD CIVIC LEADERSHIP AWARD. PLEASE WELCOME CYNTHIA TO THE STAGE. [APPLAUSE] BUENAS TARDES! THIS IS EXCITING. GOOD EVENING TO YOU ALL GRADUATES, FAMILIES, ESTEEMED GUESTS. WELCOME TO OUR 20th ANNUAL MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION. HOY AGRADEZCO LA GENTE INDIGENA
DE ESTAS TIERRAS. EN RECONOCIENDO ESTAS
COMUNIDADES, HONRAMOS SU
MEMORIA, SUS VIDAS Y SUS
DESCENDIENTES. TAMBIEN RECORDAMOS QUE SOMOS
HUESPEDES DE ESTA TIERRA Y
DEBEMOS HACER NUESTRO MEJOR
ESFUERZO PARA NO OLVIDAR NUNCA
SUS HABITANTES ORIGINALES. POR ULTIMO, ME GUSTARIA
RECONOCER QUE LOS TERRITORIOS DE
OREGON COMPARTIAN UNA FRONTERA
CON MEXICO ANTES DE QUE SE FIRMO
EL TRATADO DE GUADALUPE HIDALGO
EN 1848. DESDE ANTES DE QUE SE
ESTABLECIERON NUESTROS PAISES,
NUESTRA GENTE HA ESTADO PRESENTE
EN ESTA TIERRA CONSERVANDO
NUESTRAS CULTURAS, LENGUAS Y
TRADICIONES. NO CRUZAMOS LA FRONTERA. LA FRONTERA NOS CRUZO. [APPLAUSE] TODAY WE CELEBRATE THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE CLASS OF CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU AND ALL WHO SUPPORTED YOU IN YOUR ACADEMIC ENDEAVORS. WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED IN THE FACE OF OUR CURRENT POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CLIMATE IS NO LESS THAN ASTOUNDING. WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU. I WISH TO THANK THE STUDENTS AND STAFF WHO INVITED ME TO SPEAK TODAY. I SPENT OVER 10 YEARS WORKING AS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER IN — ORGANIZER AND TODAY I’M A FACULTY MEMBER AND WORK ON CAMPUS, OVERSEEING OUR BEAUTIFUL STUDENT CENTERS. I AM ALSO STUDYING CREATIVE WRITING HERE AT PSU. AND THROUGH STORYTELLING, I SEEK TO ELEVATE THE EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCES OF ORDINARY PEOPLE. MY HOPE IS THAT BY WRITING DOWN OUR COMMUNITY’S STORIES, WE CAN LEARN ABOUT THE SOCIAL CONDITIONS OF SOCIETY. THE FACT THAT AT THE WAS INVITED TO SPEAK TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES TODAY IS VALIDATING TO MY WORK, AND I THANK YOU FOR THAT. GRADUATES, I SEE YOU. YOU ARE YOUR ANCESTORS’ WILDEST DREAMS. WITH THIS MAJOR COME ACCOMPLISHMENT COMES AN AWESOME RESPONSIBILITY. I THINK YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THIS BEFORE, BUT NEVER HAS YOUR LEADERSHIP MATTERED MORE TO OUR COLLECTIVE FUTURE. OUR VERY WAY OF LIFE, OUR ABILITY TO LIVE AND PROSPER IS HANGING IN THE BALANCE. THE KNOWLEDGE YOU HAVE GAINED WHILE EARNING YOUR DEGREES ADVANCES NOT JUST YOUR PERSONAL LIVES, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, HAS THE POWER TO IMPACT ALL OF HUMANITY. NONE — THE LITMUS TEST OF ANY SOCIETY IS HOW IT TREATS ITS MOST VULNERABLE. WE HAVE A TOUGH JOB BEFORE US AND NONE OF THIS ESSENTIAL WORK CAN BE DONE IN ISOLATION. WE MUST DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF YOUTH, ELDERS, AND NATURE, FOR THEY ARE TOO OFTEN LAST ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA. OUR EVER GROWING POPULATION OF ELDERS HAVE SKILLS AND WAYS OF KNOWING THAT ARE BEING REPLACED AT AN ALARMING RATE, BY SYSTEMS THAT PRIVILEGE PROFIT OVER PEOPLE. AND WE ARE NOTHING WITHOUT A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT. GRADUATES, BE LIKE GRANDMA. MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME THE SIMPLE JOY OF SEEING EVERYDAY OBJECTS AS SACRED. EVEN THE PLASTIC CUP WAS WORTH SAVING. NOT JUST BECAUSE WE WERE THRIFTY, BECAUSE WE GREW UP REAL POOR, BUT BECAUSE THE CUP WAS SEEN AS USEFUL, AND EVEN SIGNIFICANT TO OUR LIVES. HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED TO YOU? [LAUGHTER]
IT HAPPENS TO ME ALL THE TIME. WHO HERE GOT EXCITED BY THE COOKIE TIN, BUT INSTEAD FOUND THREAD AND NEEDLES? [APPLAUSE]
SCHOLARS, THOSE OF US WHO DO MORE WITH LESS ARE THE WISEST AMONG US. OUR FAMILIES UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF DOING NO HARM. NOT WASTING. OF SEEING THE MATERIAL WORLD AND THE NATURAL WORLD AS SACRED. HUMAN BEINGS, LIKE ALL BY LODGE CALL ORGANISMS, DEPEND ON CLEAN AIR, WATER, AND SOIL. WE ARE ALL NATURE. ALL PEOPLE, AND ALL SPECIES. THE WAY WE SEE THE WORLD SHAPES THE WAY WE TREAT IT. IF A MOUNTAIN IS A DEITY, NOT A PILE OF OVER, IF A RIVER IS ONE OF THE VEINS OF THE LAND, NOT POTENTIAL IRRIGATION WATER, IF A FOREST IS A SACRED GROVE, NOT TIMBER, IF OTHER SPECIES ARE BIOLOGICAL KIN, NOT RESOURCES, OR IF THE PLANET IS OUR MOTHER, NOT AN OPPORTUNITY, THEN WE WILL TREAT EACH OTHER WITH GREATER RESPECT. THIS IS THE CHALLENGE. TO LOOK AT THE WORLD FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. THIS IS A QUOTE BY DAVID SUZUKI. YOU SHOULD LOOK HIM UP, HE’S PRETTY GREAT. HOW IS THIS ACCOMPLISHED? OUR SOCIETY IS SET UP FOR US TO SPEND MORE TIME STARING AT SCREENS RATHER CON– THAN CONVERSING WITH OTHERS, MUCH LESS PRESERVING WILD PLACES. OUR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SYSTEMS ARE CONTROLLED BY PRIVATE INTERESTS. THERE IS AN OVERWHELMING PUSH TOWARDS OWNERSHIP RATHER THAN COOPERATION, FOR PROFIT RATHER THAN MEETING THE COMMON NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF ORDINARY PEOPLE. WE STRUGGLE TO FIND THE COLLECTIVE WILL TO DISMANTLE OUR DEPENDENCE ON THE THINGS THAT MAKE OUR COMMUNITIES SICK. WHEN WE FORGET THAT WE ARE EMBEDDED IN THE NATURAL WORD, WE ALSO FORGET THAT WHAT WE DO TO OUR SURROUNDING, WE DO TO OURSELVES. GRADUATES, LET ME SHARE A STORY OF HOW PEOPLE TURN INTO OTHER THINGS BY SHARING A LITTLE OF MY STORY. STORIES ARE HARD TO TRACE BECAUSE, LIKE MANY OF THE STORIES IN THIS ROOM, THEY ARE COMPLICATED AND ANCIENT. MINE STARTS IN MEXICO, ON A RANCH IN THE REMOTE FOOTHILLS IN SINALOA, MEXICO. MY MOTHER, THE OLDEST OF EIGHT CHILDREN, WAS IN CHARGE OF CARING FOR HER YOUNGER SIBLINGS AND COUSINS. SHE CLOTHED THEM, FED THEM, AND KEPT THEM OUT OF TROUBLE, SHE CORRESPOND RAID WATER, GROUND CORN TORN MAKE MASA, AND HELPED KEEP THE — KEEP THE RANCH RUNNING. IT’S HERE I LEARNED MY FIRST LESSON ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WILD PLACES IN MY LIFE. AS CHILDREN, MY BROTHER AND OUR COUSINS WOULD VISIT MY MOTHER’S RANCH WITH OUR FAMILIES. THE RIVERBED, OLD GROWTH TREES, ARCHITECTURE MADE OF NATURAL MATERIALS WERE WONDEROUS AND WE RECEIVED IN IT. THE RANCH WAS OVERFLOWING WITH TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, STEEPED IN PLACE. OUR TIME AT THE RANCH WAS MAGICAL, AND MANY OF MY MOST PRECIOUS MEMORIES ARE FROM THOSE VISITS. WE ATE HOMEGROWN FOOD, DRANK FRESH, CLEAN WATER, WE RESTED IN HAM OBJECTION. I KNEW MY PLACE IN THE WORLD. WE LISTENED TO MUSICIANS PLAY AND SING, ELDERS SHARED STORIES DEEP INTO THE NIGHT. WE SAW WILD CREATURES, INSECTS, BIRDS, AND WE VISITED THE COWS, CHICKENS, AND PIGS. THE PLACE VIBRATED WITH LIFE AND MEANING. NOW I DON’T WANT TO IDEALIZE MY TIME THERE TOO MUCH. AS WONDERFUL AS THOSE EXPERIENCES WERE, I NOW RECOGNIZE THE ISSUES FACED BY MANY WHO LIVED ON THE RANCH. AND THOSE ISSUES CONTINUE TODAY. NO CULTURE OR COMMUNITY IS IMMUNE. WHAT I DO FIND IMPORTANT IN TELLING THIS STORY IS THAT — THE IMPRINT THESE EXPERIENCES HAVE ON MY CHILDHOOD. MY LOVE OF NATURE AND WILD PLACES WAS BORN FROM THESE EARLY ENCOUNTERS. I LEARNED THE ANCIENT ACT OF EXTENDING PERSONHOOD TO ALL LIVING THINGS. I LEARNED TO HONOR AND RESPECT ELDERS. I LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAY, I LEARNED TO LISTEN TO STORIES. AND I LEARNED TO WORSHIP THE WILD. WHEN MY MOTHER WAS 11 YEARS OLD, SHE WAS SENT TO CARE FOR HER GRANDFATHER, MI BISABUELO. TOO POOR TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY, HE MIGRATED AL OTRO LADO TO THE UNITED STATES IN SEARCH OF WORK. MY MOTHER RECALLS BITTERLY HOW SHE WAS TAKEN FROM HER BELOVED RANCH, HER SIBLINGS, COUSINS, AND MOTHER TO LIVE IN THE SEGREGATED WORKER CAMP IN AGRICULTURAL ARIZONA. LIFE IN CAMP 52 WAS NOTHING LIKE THE HOME MY MOTHER LEFT BEHIND. SHE HAD TO START LIFE OVER AGAIN. WHEN MY MOTHER CAME OF ABLE, SHE MARRIED, AND MY BROTHER AND I WERE BORN IN THE CAMP. WHEN I WAS 3, MY PARENTS, BROTHER, AND I MOVED TO THE U.S. BORDERLANDS. MY NEW HOMETOWN, YUMA, ARIZONA, WHERE I GREW UP, IS ONE OF THE MANY HEARTLANDS AND BATTLEFIELDS OF THE FARM WORKER MOVEMENT. AND THE BIRTHPLACE OF CESAR CHAVEZ. IN MY 16 YEARS LIVING IN YUMA I WAS NEVER EXPOSED TO THIS HISTORY, CESAR CHAVEZ OR DOLORES HUERTA. IT WAS NOT UNTIL MANY YEARS LATER, HERE AT PSU THAT I LEARNED ABOUT THE ROLE CHAVEZ AND HUERTA PLAYED IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE TO SECURE CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL RIGHTS TO AGRICULTURAL WORKERS. HAVING SPENT ALL OF MY EARLY YEARS IN MONOLINGUAL SPANISH SPEAKING COMMUNITIES IN THE U.S. AND MEXICO, I STRUGGLED IN SCHOOL. IN MY SENIOR YEAR, I FAILED ENGLISH AND WAS NOT ABLE TO WALK IN MY HIGH SCHOOL’S COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY. AND MY PARENTS WERE — THEY WERE REALLY MAD. BUT THEY WERE ALSO CRUSHED. I WAS DESPERATE TO FOLLOW THE DREAM I MY PARENTS HAD FOR ME OF GOING TO COLLEGE. I TOOK A FEW CORRESPONDENCE CORRESPONDS AND WAS — COURSES AND WAS ADMITTED TO NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY. ONCE THERE I FOUND MERE CHALLENGES THAN SUPPORT. THERE WERE NO TEACHERS WHO LOOKED LIKE ME. NONE SPOKE MY LANGUAGE. I WAS BAFFLED BY THE COMPLEX SYSTEMS. OFTEN HUNGRY, I WAS TOO POOR TO AFFORD NUTRITIOUS FOOD. I CONTINUED TO FEEL I DIDN’T BELONG. UNABLE TO NAVIGATE THE FINAL SEMESTERS WHILE STUDYING FOR A BACHELOR’S DEGREE, I DROPPED OUT. AT THAT TIME I DID NOT KNOW ABOUT IMPOSTER SYNDROME, THERE WERE NO WORDS TO EXPLAIN MY EXPERIENCE OR HOW SCHOOL HAD FAILED ME. IT WAS 1992. I TOOK TWO JOBS ON TOP OF THE FULL-TIME WORK I WAS ALREADY DOING AND STARTED TO SEND MONEY BACK TO MY FAMILY IN MEXICO. TO HELP SUPPORT THEM. EVENTUALLY MY SEARCH FOR TREES AND WATER AND CLEAN AIR BROUGHT ME TO OREGON, WHERE I DI DECIDED TO TRY SCHOOL ONE MORE TIME. WHEN I FIRST ARRIVED TO PSU, THE CHICANO/LATINO STUDIES PROGRAM WAS NEW. THE MULTICULTURAL STUDENT CENTER WAS AN UNSTAFFED SPACE WITH ONLY A MURAL TO DEFINE IT. LAS MUJERES DE LA RAZA WAS A SMALL STUDENT ORGANIZATION HOSTING ITS FIRST EVER LUNCHEONS AND TOSTITOS SALES IN THE PARK BLOCKS AND I’M WEARING MY STOLE FROM THE YEAR 2000, MY LAS MUJERES STOLE. AND MEChA WAS ORGANIZING AND EDUCATING. NOTICE — YOU’LL SEE IT IN A SECOND. STAYING CONNECTED TO MY MEXICAN ROOTS AND ETHNIC IDENTITY I WAS ABLE TO PERSEVERE. MY PARENTS WERE FINALLY ABLE TO WITNESS ME PARTICIPATE IN MY VERY FIRST COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY. MY MOTHER AND FATHER JUMPED AND CHEERED AND WAVED FRANTICALLY WHEN THEY CALLED MY NAME IN THE MODA CENTER. IT WAS POWERFUL. HERE I’M WEARING MY MEChA STOLE. SCHOOLS HAVE A TENDENCY TO CUT US UP INTO ALSO PIECES. BUT IT WAS THE MENTORS WHO BELIEVED IN ME, AND MY VISION WHO PUT ME ON THIS STAGE TODAY. THEY GUYED ME WHEN I MADE MISTAKES AND GAVE ME CHANCES WHEN OTHERS DOUBTED MY ABILITIES. ALWAYS, THE ELDERS IN MY LIFE KEPT ME STRONG AND ACCOUNTABLE. MY STORY IS NOT UNIQUE. THOSE OF US WHO KNOW THE MARGINS SHARE MANY OF THE SAME STRUGGLES. BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE ARE ALL MORE ALIKE THAN DIFFERENT. SCHOLARS, WE UNFORTUNATELY — WE’RE AT A CROSSROADS. OUR TIMES REQUIRE AN INSPIRED PASSIONATE SENSE OF JUSTICE AND DEEP REVERENCE FOR THE NATURAL WORD WORLD. BY NORMALIZING THE DETENTION OF CHILDREN S. WE’RE ONLY GOING FARTHER DOWN THE PATH OF FORSAKING THE RIGHTS OF ALL CHILDREN. IT TAKES ALL TYPES OF LEADERS TO CREATE THE KIND OF CHANGE WE NEED FOR OUR TIMES. I EXPECT YOU, REGARDLESS OF YOUR EXPERIENCES, TO TAKE BOLD STEPS AND EPIDEMIC GAUGE IN RADICAL ACTIONS TO SHAKE UP THE STATUS QUO. WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD BUSINESS AS USUAL. CHALLENGE YOURSELVES —
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[APPLAUSE] YES. THANK YOU. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] CHALLENGE YOURSELVES TO MAKE THINGS BETTER. MOVE THROUGH THE WORLD WITHOUT DIMINISHING IT. OUR MOST URGENT TASK IS — DO NO HARM. WE MUST DISARM HATE. YES. CULTIVATE KINDNESS. IT TAKES EFFORT TO SEE THE WORLD FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE. IT REQUIRES VISION. I HAVE WITNESSED YOU DEVELOP AND IT GIVES ME PRIDE TO SHARE THAT IF YOU’D LIKE TO SEE AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT IT IS TO BE A CHANGE AGENT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO FAR. JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM. THESE PEOPLE SITTING NEXT TO YOU ARE THE ONES WHO WILL CARRY YOU THROUGH DIFFICULTY AND ENCOURAGE YOU WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH. LOVE AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER. HOLD EACH OTHER CLOSE AND FORGIVE. STAY KIND AND COMMITTED TO JUSTICE. TEACH, SPEND ONE DAY OF EVERY MONTH WITH AN ELDER. INSPIRE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD. RESIST THE NARRATIVE THAT YOU MUST WAIT YOUR TURN OR FALL IN LINE. DO NOT BE LIMITED BY OTHER PEOPLE’S LACK OF IMAGINATION. SO MUCH OF OUR LIVES ARE SPENT IN THE SHADOW OF OTHERS. TELL STORIES, MAKE ART, MENTOR A CHILD, DEVELOP FRIENDSHIPS WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS. THERE’S SO MUCH YOU CAN DO. THE VISION OF A HEALTHY, GREEN, PROSPEROUS PRESENTING WORLD IS NOT A FANTASY. IT IS POSSIBLE. IT REQUIRES EACH ONE OF US TO DEDICATE OURSELVES UNREASONABLY, AND WITH NO GUARANTEE OF SUCCESS, TO OUR UNIQUE FORM OF SERVICE. IT REQUIRES THAT WE TRUST OUR KNOWING THAT HEALED WORLD ADJUST — A JUST WORLD, A MORE BEAUTIFUL WORLD IS TRULY POSSIBLE. WE ARE FACING PROFOUND CHALLENGES. WE HAVE INHERITED THIS EARTH AND ALL THE LIVING THINGS HERE ARE NOW IN NEED. WHEN YOU LEAVE HERE TODAY, REMEMBER — BE LIKE GRANDMA. IN LAK’ECH, I AM YOU, YOU ARE ME. I HONOR THE DIVINE IN YOU. CLASS OF 2019, YOU ARE RESILIENT. CONGRATULATIONS ON ALL YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED. I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU IN SOLIDARITY. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, CYNTHIA, FOR YOUR POWERFUL WORDS. I’D LIKE THE PICTURES TOO. I HAVE ONE OF THOSE COOKIE TINS AT HOME WITH SEWING STUFF. IT’S IN THE BASEMENT. IT ALSO SAYS I CAN AD LIB, SO I WANTED TO DO A SHOUT OUT TO PIAAA CENTER. IT WAS AMAZING WORKING THERE THIS YEAR. A SHOW OF HAPPENED, STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN TO THE PIAAA CENTER? THANK YOU. I ALSO WANT TO DO A SHOUT OUT TO THE PAN — PAN-AFRICAN COMMONS. IT TOOK MANY YEARS OF FIGHTING REALLY HARD AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION TO GET THOSE CENTERS OPEN. [APPLAUSE] WE DID IT. AND I WOULD REALLY LIKE IF YOU ALL WOULD COME BACK AND VISIT MENASA WHEN IT OPENS. AND TELL THEM YOU WERE HERE WHEN IT GOT APPROVED, AND WHAT WE HAD TO GO THROUGH TO GET THAT TO HAPPEN. SOMETIMES STUDENTS SHOW UP AND CENTERS ARE ALREADY OPEN, THEY THINK IT’S ALWAYS BEEN HERE. NO. WE HAD TO FIGHT. WE HAD TO FIGHT. I WANT TO WELCOME EUNICE BACK TO THE STAGE. SHE’S GOING TO INTRODUCE SPECIAL GUESTS THAT WE HAVE HERE TONIGHT. I ALSO WANTED TO SHARE A FUN FACT. EUNICE AND I BOTH HAVE BEEN AWARDED THE PRESIDENT’S DIVERSITY AWARD. I WAS AWARDED A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, EUNICE JUST GOT HER AWARD A COUPLE WEEKS AGO —
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[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] I JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU TO HER FOR WORKING REALLY HARD TO MAKE THIS A MUCH BETTER CAMPUS FOR ALL OF US. [APPLAUSE]>>IT’S NEVER EASY GETTING KUDOS FOR THE WORK WE DO, BUT I AM VERY GRATEFUL. THANK YOU SO MUCH. IT’S MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE TO YOU SOME OF TONIGHT’S SPECIAL GUESTS. WHEN I CALL YOUR NAME, PLEASE STAND IF YOU ARE ABLE TO BE RECOGNIZED. THE FIRST PERSON I WOULD LIKE TO RECOGNIZE IS DR. ROBERTO DE ANDA. PLEASE STAND. [APPLAUSE] ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN THE CHICANO/LATINO STUDIES PROGRAM. JULIE CARON. [APPLAUSE] INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT AND TITLE IX COORDINATOR. DR. SHIRLEY JACKSON, PROFESSOR AND CHAIR OF BLACK STUDIES. [APPLAUSE] RACHEL BLACK-ELK, INSTRUCTOR IN INDIGENOUS NATIONS STUDIES. [APPLAUSE] CHRISTINA LUTHER, DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND SCHOLAR SERVICES. JILL TOWNLEY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIFE TEAM. DR. CECE RIDDER. [APPLAUSE] ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT OF STUDENT ACCESS AND SUCCESS. AND DR. MAURICE HAMINGTON, PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY STUDIES. [APPLAUSE] WE WOULD ALSO WISH TO RECOGNIZE SOMEBODY SPECIAL THAT HAS HELPED PUT THIS AMAZING EVENT ON TONIGHT AND SHARE IT. STACIE TANAGUCHI, WHERE ARE YOU? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] SHE HAS BEEN WORKING WITH HER COLLEAGUES FOR MONTHS TO PLAN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT FOR OUR COMMUNITY. STACIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE HARD WORK YOU DO. THIS IS TRULY SOMETHING THAT’S GOING TO BE MEMORABLE FOR ALL THESE STUDENTS FOR YEARS TO COME. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US TONIGHT. WE’RE ALL VERY GRATEFUL FOR WHAT EACH OF YOU BRING TO OUR WORK AT PORTLAND STATE. AND NOW, FOLKS, IT IS THE TIME YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. YES, THAT IS WORTH A CLAP. [APPLAUSE] THE TIME WE RECOGNIZE EACH OF OUR GRADUATES AND THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. I ASK THAT OUR PLATFORM PARTY JOIN ME ON THE STAGE. DR. MAURICE HAMINGTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY STUDIES AND PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY. DR. CECE RIDDER, ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT OF STUDENT ACCESS AND SUCCESS. AND SHANICE CLARK, SENIOR PROGRAM COORDINATOR THE PAN-AFRICAN. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND READING THE NAMES OF OUR GRADUATES TONIGHT, PLEASE WELCOME TALISMAN SAUNDERS, INSTRUCTOR FOR THE INTENSIVE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROGRAM. AND MARINA BARCELO, STUDENT INCLUSION COORDINATOR AT THE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK. [APPLAUSE] ONE QUICK ANNOUNCEMENT, BECAUSE I KNOW I SEE PARENTS AND FAMILY IN THE BACK, I KNOW YOU ALL WANT TO COME FORWARD AND TAKE THAT PHOTO. PUT IT ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK, WHATEVER YOU USE, BUT WE KNOW THIS IS AN EXCITING MOMENT FOR YOU AND YOUR GRADUATE, BUT WE ASK THAT YOU KEEP THE AISLES SURROUNDING THE BLACK CHAIRS AND THE CHAIRS IN THE FRONT CLEAR TO ALLOW GRADUATES TO SAFELY LINE UP TO CROSS THE STAGE. WE APPRECIATE YOUR COOPERATION. WITHOUT FURTHER ADO, LET’S AGAIN THE PROCESSION OF OUR GRADUATES. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD EVENING. WILL THE FIRST ROW OF GRADUATES PLEASE RISE AND STEP FORWARD TO RECEIVE YOUR CERTIFICATES. [READING NAMES] [READING NAMES]>>CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES. GIVE YOURSELF A HAND. [APPLAUSE] IT’S GOING TO TAKE A LITTLE WHILE TO SINK NORTHBOUND. — TO SINK IN. WE’RE REALLY PROUD OF YOU. NOW IT’S MY PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE NAYLAMP ADANAQUE. WHO WILL BE SHARING THE PSU ALUMNI PLEDGE WITH YOU TONIGHT. NAYLAMP IS ORIGINALLY FROM LIMA, PERU, IN 2011 AT THE AGE OF 14, HE MET A FAMILY FROM PORTLAND WHO HELPED HIM RAISE ENOUGH FUNDS TO COME TO THE U.S. AS AN EXCHANGE STUDENT DURING HIS SOPHOMORE YEAR AT CLEVELAND HIGH SCHOOL. MY SON JUST GRADUATED FROM CLEVELAND LAST WEEK. AFTER GOING BACK TO PERU, HE TURNED TO PORTLAND TO CONTINUE HIS STUDIES AT PORTLAND COMMUNITY COLLEGE. HE EARNED HIS ASSOCIATES DEGREE AND TRANSFERRED TO PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY WHERE HE GRADUATED IN 2018. WITH TWO MAJORS. ONE IN HUMAN RESOURCES, AND THE OTHER ONE IN MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP. HE WORKED FOR THE CULTURAL RESOURCE CENTERS FOR TWO YEARS AS THE PR AND MARKETING ASSISTANT, AS WELL AS A STUDENT AMBASSADOR FOR THE OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS. HE IS CURRENTLY THE TELECOUNSELOR COORDINATOR AT THE OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS. PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING NAYLAMP ADANAQUE.>>HELLO, EVERYONE. IT’S OKAY. GOOD EVENING, GRADUATES. I WAS IN YOUR POSITION A YEAR AGO SO I’M VERY EXCITED AND HAPPY FOR YOU. I AM HONORED TO BE A PART OF YOUR SPECIAL DAY, THE DAY YOU CELEBRATE A GRADE ACHIEVEMENT. ON BEHALF OF THE PSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION BOARD, PLEASE ACCEPT OUR CONGRATULATIONS. FARHAD WAS, IF YOU ARE ABLE, PLEASE STAND AND REPEAT THIS HONOR PLEDGE AFTER ME. READY? I PLEDGE TO MAINTAIN THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF HONESTY, INTEGRITY, AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY — THAT WAS LONG. OKAY. IN MY ACADEMIC, PROFESSIONAL, AND PERSONAL PURSUITS. I PLEDGE TO BE COMMITTED TO CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT OF RESPECT AND MUTUAL TRUST. I PLEDGE TO APPLY ETHICAL PRINCIPLES WHEN MAKING SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL DECISIONS THAT MAY IMPACT MY FAMILY, MY COMMUNITY, AND THE WORLD AROUND ME, NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. I PLEDGE THAT I WILL LIVE UP TO THE TRUST PLACED IN ME — I GOT LOST. [LAUGHTER] OKAY. BY MY FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND COLLEAGUES AND WORK DILIGENTLY TO PROMOTE ST. WELFARE OF OUR COMMUNITY. I PLEDGE TO HONOR AND RESPECT MY OWN CULTURAL TRADITIONS, AS WELL AS THOSE OF OTHERS. I PLEDGE NEVER TO LOSE SIGHT OF MY GOALS AND DREAMS, AND WILL WORK TO ACHIEVE THEM REGARDLESS OF THE OBSTACLES I MAY ENCOUNTER. I PLEDGE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER — NOW SAY IT LIKE YOU MEAN IT — THAT I’M BOLD! I’M AMAZING! I AM CONFIDENT! AND I’M STRONG! THANK YOU. YOU MAY BE SEATED. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>GRADUATES, YOU ARE ALL MEMBERS OF THE PSU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. WE WISH YOU ALL THE GREAT SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE ARE A RESOURCE FOR YOU AS YOU GO ON YOUR PURSUE YOUR GOALS AND DREAMS. CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2019. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU FOR SENDING OUR GRADUATES OFF WITH SUCH — ON SUCH A GREAT NOTE. I’M SURE YOU ARE ALL READY TO REUNITE WITH YOUR LOVED ONES AND CELEBRATE THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION. A COUPLE OF QUICK ANNOUNCEMENTS AS WE WRAP UP THE CEREMONY. FIRST, GRADUATES, YOU ARE INVITED TO PICK UP YOUR PERSONALIZED CERTIFICATES IN ROOM 323 AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE CEREMONY. THEN PLEASE JOIN EVERYONE FOR A DESSERT RECEPTION IN ROOM 329. YOU’RE ALSO WELCOME TO RETURN TO THE BALLROOM TO MINGLE, TAKE PHOTOS, ENJOY YOUR TREATS, AND CONTINUE CELEBRATING.>>ONE MORE. THANK YOU, FAMILY AND FRIENDS, FACULTY AND STAFF, AND OUR MANY VOLUNTEERS FOR OFFERING YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND SUPPORT TO OUR GRADUATES TONIGHT. [APPLAUSE] AND I KNOW I SAID THIS PREVIOUSLY, BUT I REALLY MEAN IT THIS TIME. THIS IS THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR. SO READY TO EXPRESS, GO CRAZY, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO? I PRESENT TO YOU THE MULTICULTURAL GRADUATION CLASS OF 2019! [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]